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While primarily used for killing vampires, a wooden stake to the heart is also highly effective against most other opponents.
Everybody wants to be a Game Designer but nobody wants to be a Game Designer.
This session report features the randomly selected Woods Girl. I usually play her pretty much solo anyway, so this game shouldn't be much different than a group game. I have recently had to change my strategy with her since incorporating the Watchful Natives rule so I'm still learning a bit with her.

As in my previous games, the Dwarf and the Sorceror, I'm using my standard optional rules listed at the end. In particular, I'm using the Optional Abilities for the Woods Girl (Tracking ability works in all woods clearings except for Valley and Ruins tiles) and the Ambush rules.

Starting at the House, I selected Control Bats as my starting spell and put 1 point into Great Treasures, 2 into Fame, 1 into Notoriety, and 1 into Gold. My plan was to hopefully find a treasure site or two in a woods clearing and clean it out. Kill a few monsters from hiding when they show up and then sell all of my loot. I'd probably be short in one category, so I hoped to make up for it in another.

That plan didn't work at all!

First travelled to the Borderlands which had Bones C and Howl 4. Then onward to Cliff which had Stink M and the Hoard in the mountainous clearing 6. A nice treasure site but not in a woods clearing. A Heavy Spider showed up on day 2 and I managed to kill it from ambush on day 3 for 3 Fame and Notoriety.

A quick trip through the Maple Woods (Small Campfire) and I was exploring the Deep Woods which only had Smoke M and Flutter 2. Poor luck here, so she trudged through the woods preparing to enter the mountains of Cliff for some hoard looting. On day 6 two Heavy Flying Dragons appeared and I got extremely lucky, sniping them on rounds 1 and 2 for 15 Fame and Notoriety!

The next day brought me into Cliff where a Giant appeared. I failed the ambush and the resulting roll on the missile table was a 5, so I ran away. Day 8 saw a Heavy Spider join the Giant and I managed to kill it before the Giant chased me away again. 3 Fame and Notoriety and I had achieved two of my victory requirements. Day 9 saw the death of the Giant (on the third round of combat) for 8 more Fame and Notoriety and the arrival of the Tremendous Flying Dragon in clearing 6.

On day 10 I had to hide and rest up but had a free search so I peered into the adjacent Ruins tile and rolled a 1 for Clues and Paths. Found the hidden path connecting Ruins 1-5 and saw Stink C and Ruins 4. On day 11 I moved into the clearing with the hoard and another Giant showed up. I decided not to ambush so I could have the option of running away in the opposite direction the next evening if necessary.

On day 12, I failed my hide and ran away. I figured I would have a better chance of looting treasure in the Ledges a few tiles away than messing around with the TFD and a Giant every day.

After traveling through the Ruins, Borderland, and Nut Woods (Ruins W), I made it to the Ledges on day 18. It only had Ruins M and Howl 5!

High Pass was right next to me but a few days journey to reach and the other tiles were way on the other side of the map, way too far away from a dwelling to find some treasure and then sell them. I chose to trek back to the Hoard and see what I could find there.

Made it back on day 21 and on day 22 found the secret passage connecting clearings 3 and 6. Now I could hide in a woods clearing when necessary and save a few move phases when running away. Should have tried this from the start.

Day 25 found the Scroll of Alchemy. The Great Treasure I needed! The negative 10 fame hurt though. Failed to hide on day 26 and had to run away without searching.

Day 27 I had to try to kill the Giant and TFD just to cover the lack of gold. On odd numbered rounds I did nothing and on even numbered rounds I alerted my bow with a Fight L3*. That way if my ambush roll failed, I would not have to run from the clearing. If it succeeded, I could attack with another asterisk or play a Move L3* and fatigue to keep the battle going. Luck was on my side and I killed the Giant on round 6 while remaining hidden. Made my hide roll on round 8 but didn't kill the dragon but on round 10 I managed to kill it for double points! The fight gave me 32 Fame and Notoriety, more than making up for the lack of gold.

Rather than searching and risking a curse on day 28, I just ran back to woods clearing 3, hid and rested. Nothing showed up to bother me and I won with 5 Victory Points.

Ended with 1 Great Treasure and 61 Fame and Notoriety. Final points after treasure adjustments and starting costs were 1 GT, 51 Fame, 76 Notoriety, and -6 Gold. The gold requirement hit me for 8 negative points but I had 9 points in Fame and 4 in Notoriety.

Speculation: If I had put 3 points in Fame and 2 in Notoriety my final score would have been 14! Even without the lucky roll against the TFD, I would have ended with 47 F&N for a score of 3 where I would have lost at -1 with my original VR allocations. Even so, I prefer to play the Woods Girl as a treasure hunter and opportunistic killer rather than a straight up monster hunter.

Ironic Note: After the game, I looked at the tiles and saw that the Lost Castle was in the Crag with the Altar, Shrine, Pool, Cairns, and Vault. Right next to it in the Caves was the Lair and the Statue. So, I found the only treasure site that was near me anyway and not one was in a woods clearing!

Smart Move Note 2: Checked the Hoard after the game and sure enough, the fourth treasure was the Mouldy Skeleton that would have cursed me for no benefit. The other great treasure in the stack was the Blasted Jewel that she couldn't carry.

95 total phases (no bonus phases): 32 Hides (on 26 days, 18 succeeded, 9 failed, 5 extraneous), 39 Moves, 5 Rests, 18 Searches. On my Ambush hide rolls 13 succeeded and 3 failed.


Optional rules selected were: Caching, Dropping and Losing Belongings, Ambush Rules, Serious Wounds, Grudges/Gratitude, Enhanced Artifacts and Spell Books, both for Wizard, Captain, Woods Girl, Magician, both for Druid, Persistent Chits, Birdsong Rearrangement, No Spell Limit, Decline Opportunity, No Mission/Visitor Flip, No Campaigns, Knights Adjustment, Watchful Natives, Extended Grudges, Benevolent Spells.

Edits to fix some typos, add some bolds and change the lame title.
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